As most allegorical tales of triumph conclude, mine began with passing through some imposing iron gates. Arriving at those austere and figurative portae to knowledge at Columbia University was a surreal experience on the afternoon of Sunday, February 16.
Like so many significant events throughout the history of the Western world, my humanities moment begins on the banks of the River Tiber in Rome.
"The emotional side is something that first-generation students have to deal with by themselves because there might not be someone that can understand them."
In a literature classroom it can be easy to lose sight of the "so what" of the course's broader impact within not only students' undergraduate experience, but also the trajectory of their professional careers. But as instructors in literary studies are acutely aware, a student's exposure to reading literature in class has real-world impact: it may be the …